All-Star game lineups, with Jeter and McCutchen leading off

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Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright and Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez have been named the starting pitchers for the All-Star game, and here are the starting lineups they’ll be facing tomorrow night:

NATIONAL LEAGUE:
CF Andrew McCutchen
RF Yasiel Puig
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Paul Goldschmidt
DH Giancarlo Stanton
3B Aramis Ramirez
2B Chase Utley
C Jonathan Lucroy
LF Carlos Gomez

You know it’s a helluva lineup when Giancarlo Stanton is batting fifth and you know it’s a helluva outfield alignment defensively when Carlos Gomez is playing left field.

AMERICAN LEAGUE:
SS Derek Jeter
LF Mike Trout
2B Robinson Cano
1B Miguel Cabrera
RF Jose Bautista
DH Nelson Cruz
CF Adam Jones
3B Josh Donaldson
C Salvador Perez

Derek Jeter is leading off for the American League despite being the worst hitter in either lineup based on this season’s numbers, although that’s perhaps not surprising given the send-off he’s likely to receive throughout the game. Mike Trout is playing left field while Adam Jones mans center field, and the guy with the most homers in the AL lineup, Nelson Cruz, is batting sixth as the designated hitter.

Yasmani Grandal signs a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox

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The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.

Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.

The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.

The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.